(Yahoo!) - Christina "Chrissy" Amphlett--frontwoman for the Australian rock band the Divinyls, whose "I Touch Myself" went to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1991--died Sunday at her home in New York. Amphlett was 53 years old.
Amphlett's husband of 14 years, former Divinyls drummer and multi-instrumentalist/producer Charley Drayton, confirmed in a statement that the charismatic singer died after battling multiple sclerosis since 2007 and breast cancer since 2010. "Chrissy's light burns so very brightly," Drayton stated. "Hers was a life of passion and creativity; she always lived it to the fullest…With her force of character and vocal strength she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women."
Drayton also revealed that Amphlett had "expressed hope that her worldwide hit 'I Touch Myself' would remind women to perform annual breast examinations."
The Divinyls formed in 1980 in Sydney, Australia, and they recorded five albums (with various lineup changes) between 1982 and 1996. While "I Touch Myself" marked their international commercial peak, they became stars of the early-MTV era thanks in no small part to Amphlett's sexy, fearless, tough-girl persona in music videos like "Boys in Town" and "Pleasure and Pain." One of the Divinyls' later songs, 1996's "Human on the Inside," was covered by another feisty rock 'n' roll female, Chrissie Hynde, on the Pretenders' 1999 album Viva el Amor. In 2001, the Divinyls' 1982 single "Science Fiction" was named one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association, and the band was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 2006.
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